Conference to kick-start ideas about entrepreneurship, diversity and workforce development


CORNER BROOK, NL (May 11, 2018) – An aging population, outmigration, declining birth rate, along with changing technology and skills requirements are major challenges facing the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and the rest of Canada that call for new ideas and innovative solutions.

The Association for New Canadians (ANC), Navigate and the Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre  (NLWIC) at College of the North Atlantic (CNA) have partnered to deliver Innovation 2.0: Entrepreneurship, Diversity and Workforce Development on Monday, May 14 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Grenfell Campus of Memorial University in Corner Brook. 

This one-day conference is intended to kick-start new conversations about the challenges and opportunities for innovative solutions presented by the conference’s three themes: entrepreneurship, diversity and workforce innovation.

Session one, led by Billy Newell, Navigate incubator manager, will showcase the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre’s innovative new space. The discussion will feature Darren Pelley, general manager of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper; Ken Carter, director of Grenfell Campus’s Office of Engagement; and, Kelly Vodden, associate vice president of Research and Graduate Studies at Grenfell Campus.

“Innovation is critical in our age of rapid change and is fundamental to regional economic success. The conference is an opportunity to look ahead to what the post-secondary institutions, government, business and community need to do to be collectively successful.”

 -Ken Carter, Grenfell Campus’s Office of Engagement director

Session two, led by ANC, will feature a keynote address about the power of cultural diversity. The address will be delivered by Emily Brennan, marketing manager of the Moncton-based software company Alongside, which specializes in online recruitment platforms.

“Diversity is absolutely central to innovation. Time and time again, we see that when people from different cultural backgrounds come together, their unique mix of perspectives and experiences makes them more likely to come up with better and more profitable business ideas.” 

-Justin Campbell, ANC’s Diversity Outreach coordinator

Session three, led by NLWIC at CNA, will focus on workforce challenges and innovative solutions during a moderated panel discussion with leaders from key industry sectors, followed by cross-sectoral roundtable discussions.

“At the Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre, we expect all three sessions will spark new ideas and partnerships for research and innovation in workforce development across all sectors in the province.  By talking and working together with our key stakeholders, we will positively impact employability, labour market issues, and ultimately the prosperity of this province.”

-Sharon McLennon, Centre director

This event is open to the public, and there is no cost to attend. An authentic Indian cuisine lunch will be provided. Advance registration is recommended by registering at:


Media Contact:

Celena Alcock
Information and Social Media Officer
NL Workforce Innovation Centre
Tel:  709.637.8646


About Partnering Organizations:

Navigate, a partnership of Grenfell Campus, Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic, addresses the needs of potential entrepreneurs in the pre start-up phase of business development, and connects those individuals with various resources, programs and agencies that exist to meet their needs.

The Association for New Canadians is a non-profit organization that works to support the settlement, integration, and retention of immigrants and refugees in Newfoundland and Labrador. With offices across the province, ANC delivers a range of programs including settlement services, language instruction, employment support, and public education and outreach. The ANC works in collaboration with the Provincial Government in the implementation of the Way Forward on Immigration in Newfoundland and Labrador, the province’s collaborative, partnership-driven immigration action plan and roadmap to increasing immigration to 1,700 newcomers annually by 2022.

Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre, established in 2017 by the Provincial Government, provides a coordinated, central point of access to engage government, career and employment services providers, skills development organizations and stakeholders in the business and community sectors throughout the province. Its core functions are stakeholder engagement, research funding, best practices clearinghouse and capacity building. The Centre is administered by the College of the North Atlantic. Funding is provided by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement.